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Did You Know?

green
  1. A 2% increase in upfront costs towards supporting sustainable building design has been reported to result in a life cycle savings of 20% of the total construction costs. So a $100,000 investment on a $5 Million project would result in a savings of $1 Million over the life of the building. [1]
  2. Buildings are the single greatest opportunity to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to 40% of the world's carbon dioxide. [2]
  3. Electrical and mechanical systems are responsible for more than 50% of a buildings annual energy costs. [3]
  4. Recycled materials can dramatically reduce energy consumptions. Aluminum can be recycled for 10-20% of the energy used to transform raw ore into finished aluminum. Key recyclable building materials: Glass, Plastics, Brick, Wood and Metals. [4]
  5. If every home in the United States replaced their five most used lights with energy efficient lighting or fixtures, the energy costs savings would be close to $8 Billion every year while preventing the greenhouse gas emission of nearly 10 Million cars. [5]
  6. 80% of the dirt entering a building comes from occupant’s footwear, read “Walk Off Mats” section to learn more. [6]
  7. Paints, stains and other architectural coatings emit 9% of the Volatile Organic Compounds from consumer and commercial products, being the second highest after automobiles. [7]
  8. The first ever LEED Platinum Building, the highest standard of green building, was achieved in the U.S. for the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center. A more recent example is the Bank of America LEED platinum building for their offices in Adelanto, CA.
  9. A pinhole water leak in a faucet slowly leaks out 70 gallons of water in one day, wasting 20% of the average daily water consumption. [9]
  10. 90% of Icelandic homes are run on ground source (geothermal) energy to heat and cool their homes. See “Geothermal” section to learn more. [10]
  11. The sun provides more energy to the earth in one hour than all of the energy consumed by humans in a single year. [11]
  12. The average home spends approximately $2,000 on energy costs every year. [12]
  13. The United States could save nearly 640 Billion gallons of water per year by replacing old, inefficient toilet models with EPA WaterSense labeled toilets. [13]
  14. Air leaks from a poor building seal account for 25% to 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling, thus, having an airtight building seal can offer significant cost savings for a home or building. [14]
  15. Solar heating for pools can offer a return on investment as low as two years while extending the swimming season by several weeks. [15]
  16. Buildings account for 68% of United States’ total electricity consumption and 38% of the total carbon dioxide emissions. [16]
  17. Buildings use 40% (3 billion tons annually) of the world’s raw materials. [18]
  18. It is estimated that of the 209.7 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in the U.S. in a single year, 136 million tons of it is generated from building related construction and demolition. [19]

[1] Kats, Greg. October 2003. The Cost and Financial Benefits of Green Building. http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/News/News477.pdf. (Accessed August 2, 2008).
[2] World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 2008. Global Survey Shows “Green” Construction Costs Dramatically Lower Than Believed. http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=MjU5MTM. (Accessed July 28, 2008).
[3] National Electrical Manufacturers Association. June 2007. Guidance on Energy Policy Act. http://www.geconsumerandindustrial.com/environmentalinfo/documents/NEMA_Guidance_on_EPACT.pdf. (Accessed August 3, 2008).
[4] Center for Sustainable Systems. 2007. U.S. Material Use. http://css.snre.umich.edu/css_doc/CSS05-18.pdf. (Accessed July 26, 2008).
[5] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Light Bulbs and Fixtures. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=lighting.pr_lighting. (Accessed July 26, 2008).
[6] Hueston, Fredrick. June 2004. Designing a Sustainable (Green) Stone Floor Maintenance Program. http://www.boylanstonerestoration.com/SustainableFloorsMaintenance.pdf. (Accessed August 3, 2008).
[7] Pennock, Alex. August 2005. Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Paints. http://www.greenhomeguide.com/index.php/knowhow/entry/750/C224. (Accessed July 30, 2008).
[8] Du Bois, Denis. November 2006. Carbon Neutral is Oxford Dictionary “Word of the Year.” http://energypriorities.com/entries/2006/11/carbon_neutral_oxford_word.php. (Accessed August 3, 2008).
[9] United States Environmental Protection Agency. July 2008. Use Your Watersense. http://www.epa.gov/watersense/water/simple.htm. (Accessed July 28, 2008).
[10] Epstein, Paul. Moomaw, Bill. 2008. Healthy Solutions for a Low Carbon Society. Harvard Medical School.
[11] Epstein, Paul. Moomaw, Bill. 2008. Healthy Solutions for a Low Carbon Society. Harvard Medical School.
[12] United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Appliances. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=appliances.pr_appliances. (Accessed August 2, 2008).
[13] United States Environmental Protection Agency. February 2008. WaterSense Labeled Toilets. http://www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/ws_het508.pdf. (Accessed July 30, 2008).
[14] United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Air Seal and Insulate with Energy Star. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing. (Accessed August 1, 2008).
[15] Alternate Energy Technologies. 2004. Benefits of Going Solar. http://www.aetsolar.com/Solar_Residential_Commercial/Solar_Benefits.html. (Accessed July 29, 2008).
[16] United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Basic Information. http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/about.htm. (Accessed July 30, 2008).
[17] McGraw Hill Construction. 2007. Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket Report.
[18] United States Green Building Council. 2008. Green Building Research. http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?cmspageID=1718. (Accessed August 5, 2008).
[19] United States Green Building Council. 2008. Green Building Research. http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?cmspageID=1718. (Accessed August 5, 2008).